Thursday, 23 February 2006

Free software? You can't just give it away

Gervase Markham's article in the Times Online: Free software? You can't just give it away provides an amusing anecdote about an extended conversation between him (representing the Mozilla Foundation) and a UK Trading Standards officer who was investigating a UK business selling Firefox CDs.

Unfortunately, this was not well received. Her reply was incredulous:

"I can't believe that your company would allow people to make money from something that you allow people to have free access to. Is this really the case?" she asked.

"If Mozilla permit the sale of copied versions of its software, it makes it virtually impossible for us, from a practical point of view, to enforce UK anti-piracy legislation, as it is difficult for us to give general advice to businesses over what is/is not permitted."

JPG Magazine - Issue 5: Photography is Not a Crime

The latest JPG Magazine - Issue 5: Photography is Not a Crime intends to provide a rallying cry to amateur photographers. Submissions are closed, but the issue should be released later this month.

Schneier on Security: Photographing Airports

Bruce links to a Salon article about being questioned while photographing in airports: Schneier on Security: Photographing Airports.

This seems to be frustrating photographers everywhere at the moment, the apparent 'crack down' on photography in seemingly random places, the heavy handed tactics - questioned, made to prove identity and intent, forced to delete images, etc. Yet, when pushed back, these 'security' individuals always fall back on the implication that "we live in a different world now" and vague suggestions of illegality which don't stand up well to further scrutiny.

Obviously the rules are different in the US and the UK (we don't have their crazy privacy laws for example), UK photographers can get a taste of their rights from the UK Photographers Rights Guide.

YouTube - Herbie Hancock: Rockit

Ben points you to a synth medley from Herbie Hancock, Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby and Stevie Wonder, but I prefer this blast from the past - YouTube: Herbie Hancock - RockIt.

I still can't quite imagine how they got away with the dummy in the bed shots - outrageous!

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

Formatting large FAT32 partitions

Bought a case for my old laptop's 40GB hard disk, so now I can use it like an external USB device. However, formatting the disk as FAT32 proves somewhat problematic. Microsoft's own support site says: "You cannot format a volume larger than 32 GB in size using the FAT32 file system in Windows 2000. ... This behaviour is by design. ... use the NTFS file system instead". NTFS is fine if you're a Windows only user, but if you want to be able to read/write from other operating systems FAT32 is a must. Enter Linux mkdosfs for Windows NT/2K/XP. A Win32 port of the Linux command mkdosfs. It doesn't seem to have any dependencies on Cygwin or related stuff so should be useful anywhere...

Sunday, 19 February 2006

Utata Goes to the Movies

I'm thinking, I'm thinking... But I haven't thought of anything yet - Utata.

Apprently CC is now living in the UK, thus cementing her (already assured) place on the list...

I've got a small problem

Claudia Christian's latest short film: I've got a small problem. Absolutely hilarious, although the plummy English accent may need some work (I'm available for some 1-2-1 coaching if you need it Claudia).

More CC goodness here.

Thursday, 16 February 2006

Warning, Ugly blog ahead...

This blog is about to become the ugliest blog in existence as I strip out all the CSS. I'm aiming to put it back in later in a more structured manner as I update my HTML/CSS knowledge. Feel free to leave the ugly kid alone in the corner and go elsewhere...

Wednesday, 15 February 2006

Top 5 Laminated List

Had a long conversation with my sister-in-law the other week over a curry. Trying to piece together our "top 5"s. I won't embarrass her by revealing her answers (or my wife's come to that), but I realised that I have real trouble reaching five entries. Three I can manage:

  • Drew Barrymore
  • Claudia Christian
  • Kate Moss
but filling out the last two slots poses too many dilemas. I was given advice to include as many residents of London as possible (as that should increase my chances of striking lucky), but that seems a little too calculating. So I seem to have a reserve list -- people that have 'top 5' potential, but I can't really decide about yet. Obviously, I'm being a bet hedger here and I have trouble committing to a definite list (even a meaningless one like this).

What was I thinking?

What was I thinking?, originally uploaded by REALJimBob.

Self Portraits are always a risky venture, but finally seeing one from 12 years ago is quite a shock. What on earth is going on with those Coco the Clown-esque tufts...

About the Firefox "memory leak"

Ben Goodger discusses why Firefox seems to take up so much darn RAM and more importantly how to tune it manually. I've set my desktop to "0" and left my laptop on 'automatic' to see if I can notice the difference. Honestly, with tabs being so useful, I don't find myself going back that often (or if I do it's by a lot more than 8 pages) so I'm hoping this will actually make Firefox a bit more spritely for me.

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Happy Valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's day!, originally uploaded by REALJimBob.

The realistic anatomical version struck me as much more amusing than the obvious heart shaped one...

Google Reader Labels, Not Quite My Way (Yet)

I've just found the 'official' Google Reader Blog, and the latest post explains one of the things that I really don't like about Googe Reader. Labels. Don't get me wrong, I like labels, they are a great way of allowing me to view related posts from possibly disparate feeds all together. However, the way I've used labels has changed as I've been using Google Reader, but the system doesn't clean up the old unused labels. So unless I'm missing a button to delete a label or something I'm stuck with a long list of labels, only about a quarter of which I'm actually using...

Wednesday, 8 February 2006

Pentax Tags

More information on the hidden Pentax Maker Tags. Including the hard to come by ISO codes. The codes appear in the Flickr More properties pages, but only now do I know that an ISO code of 9 actually corresponds to ISO 200.

Utata Draws Lines

Utata Draws Lines, originally uploaded by REALJimBob.

The weekend project Utata Draws Lines is up and running. Created from all the Utatan's photographs tagged for the project, a simple refresh shows a different set of images each time.

See my submissions to the project or see all the submissions to the project.

Lack of EXIF information from Pentax Digicams

My Pentax Optio 550 doesn't seem to record the ISO setting in the EXIF data (I can't believe it's taken me two and a half years to notice this omission). Which is a pain when you want to run Neat Image on your photos to remove the noise as knowing the ISO value is a pre-requisite to picking the right noise profile.

Enter the perl module Image-ExifTool by Phil Harvey. I've now downloaded and installed my first ever perl module from CPAN - and into Cygwin no less. Hopefully this will be good enough that I can ditch my Bash script that renames my photos based on the date information in the JPGs, now I can extend it and learn perl in the process...